We need peaceful mediation and a negotiated political solution between the government of Spain and the people of Catalunya. The Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy is pursuing an incredibly dangerous strategy of intimidation and repression and is putting the integrity of his country at risk. His government ordered a coordinated use of paramilitary violence … Continue reading Rule of Law Requires Dialogue
Yesterday, the people of Catalunya did something remarkable; they faced a violent crackdown against peaceful deliberation with the honor of nonviolence. Their example is a gift to the world. The earliest Catalan constitution—les Usatges de Barcelona—was established nearly 1,000 years ago. In those times, their monarch—the Count of Barcelona—was elected. On September 11, 1714, their … Continue reading The Example of Nonviolent Deliberation
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma would not be as intense without warmer atmospheric and oceanic conditions. Nor, for that matter, would Jose and Katia. Science knows this. It is not theory; it is not speculation. We don’t need statistical models to prove this statement. If Atlantic basin climate conditions at the site of these storms were … Continue reading Warming Makes Storms Stronger
The gift. It is an area of inquiry in deconstructionist postmodern philosophy, that connects to all the human aspirations we might classify as altruistic. The true gift asks nothing in return, not even recognition. At the heart of the act of giving, there lies a paradox: one must have the intention to give in order … Continue reading Reject Hate, Every Time
There is a place in Barcelona, next to the Basilica Santa María del Mar, where an eternal flame arches over a unique, concave public square, in honor of all who have sacrificed to defend the ancient laws of Catalunya. It is a place to reflect on what makes people behave selflessly in service of others. … Continue reading Barcelona som tots
Heather Heyer lost her life and liberty standing up for yours and mine. She gave her life in service of the simple, universal value that no form of violence, tyranny, or injustice, can be allowed to stand unchallenged. She knew she was facing danger; she told friends the threat worried her. She made a choice … Continue reading Stand with Charlottesville
Diplomacy is often referred to as “soft power”. That framing is more a measure of diplomatic prowess than a result of the simple fact of having diplomats. Bad diplomacy may, in fact, reduce the amount of overall influence a nation has. Soft power is not a given; it is a complex, high-stakes endeavor, and necessary … Continue reading Diplomacy is Capability
Sound science and the free flow of facts are a national security imperative. Without genuine investigation, a willingness to discover evidence, and ways to ensure that reliable, useful, accurate information is moving freely, everyone is less able to know which choices will have which ramifications, and so everyone is less able to make informed choices about how to govern individual or shared outcomes. Open access to sound science is integral to any serious strategy to secure the nation, ensure the rule of law, or empower the people to achieve durable future prosperity.
The Peace Synapse graph: Thinking through climate, peace and security connections in the real world This stunning image is actually a map of knowledge connections, between people, institutions, climate change impacts, and related response scenarios. It is a global knowledge graph (GKG) of climate, peace and security connections, running from January 2009 through 2016. Because … Continue reading Climate, Peace & Security Knowledge Graph
Why we choose the burden of outdated power structures
The modern age opened with the advent of modern science and a deliberative effort to demonstrate truth with examination of evidence. Modern democratic processes emerged from this break with feudal history. Today, we are living in post-modern times—the period after modern breakthroughs became the general foundation on which new discoveries were then made.
Philosophers, architects, literary theorists, painters and politicians, will all define post-modern in different ways, but what we can say is that we have emerged from modernity into a time when legitimacy is not inherited or seized, but rather developed through decentralized processes of discussion, coordination, and responsible accountable governance. Today’s most recognized monarchies own their legitimacy only because they support and sustain democratic political systems that carry out the acts of government in parallel to their position as historically founded national leaders.